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EXCLUSIVE – Tito Jackson: “Me, Michael and the legend of Jackson 5”

Okay, now close your eyes. Imagine you are sitting down in “Apollo Theatre”. On the main stage we have five children who dream of being a music group. “Michael, Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine… fortunately  you’re all here. Look, you guys need to make a decision right now: go to David Frost Show or go to an audition for Motown, in Detroit”, claimed a man.

Now, open your eyes, because someone special is going to tell you the true story of Jackson 5.

The special guest of this interview of MentiSommerse.it is Tito Jackson, original member of the Jackson 5 and The Jacksons.

MOTOWN OR DAVID FROST SHOW?

I will never forget the time when we were at the Apollo Theatre and we were told that we had the opportunity to introduce the David Frost show or go to audition for Motown. Most of the bands choose to go in the Motown, but I insisted on wanting to go to the D. Frost ‘cause I thought we get worldwide recognition. Plus I had heard he (in Motown, editor’s note) didn’t want to have to do with children, because he had little Steve Wonder and when you deal with kids, they have to go to school and all these social laws, they can work only a few hours before they have to take a break. And he was tired of that, so I didn’t know if he was going to pass on the Jackson 5 or take his head off

In an interview with “The Guardian“, Tito said: “We stunned him so much he walked over and said: “I’m gonna get you guys three No 1s in a row.” We were more excited to be in his mansion. He had a bowling alley, a golf course. It was like Disneyland”.

TITO, COME AND PLAY BLUES!

“I remember a lot of Jackson’s Stories, one of the stories that sticks into my mind more than everything is when we were performing in Mexico City, Michael had messed up on stage and he called up for me to play blues music, which they never let me play blues in the Jackson 5: “I want you back, came off”, they just wanted to do that sound music but we had been doing blues in the past. They didn’t know what to do, so they just said “Tito come and play blues”. So that became a tradition. I don’t know how that happened. That was crazy, though”.

THE LAST REUNION DURING THE 30TH MICHAEL’S ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL

“It was a lot of fun during the 30th Michael Jackson’s anniversary special. I remember well, but what was tragic about it is that the very next day is when 9/11 happened in N.Y. city so I will never forget that time period, but we had a great show and we had a lot of celebrities on the show and we got to see a lot of friends. So, it was a great time”.

THE SOUND OF YOUNG AMERICA

“I think we were just basically doing music that we enjoyed and music for young people: “I want you back”, “ABC”, “The love you save”, I told many times it was one of the first times when America was taking notice of young Caucasians Americans as well, black American Spanish, all people were taking notice to the Jackson 5, before there was no other young group or black young group like that, that all people liked. It helped communication between races. I think it really gave uplift to black people as well, so it was a great time”.

TITO, WHAT’S YOUR FUTURE?

Well, there’s a lot of projects on the table because, as you know, I worked with the brothers as well with my son, 3T. Then I have “Tito Time” and I’m working now with the B.B.King’s Blues Band. So all those things are my future and enjoy every one of them.

The hardest thing to do is to keep the schedule straight but, other than that, keeping me busy which is what I like to do. I’m having fun with it so I hope to see you in the future.

Corrado Parlati
Special thanks to Sandra Zodiaco for the complete transcript of the whole conversation,
and to Tito Jackson and Kevin Moss for the availability.

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